The Times – My solution to the crisis in our prisons, by Harry Woolf<br/> The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, 2000-2005, hands down a verdict on a system facing meltdown

What, then, can now be done? Any action has to involve reducing the lack of balance between the numbers in custody and the resources available to tackle offending behaviour. My recipe, which will be difficult for the Government to swallow, is this:

1) For ministers to announce the action they propose to take to deal with the present crisis;

2) The action to include the repeal or suspension of statutory provisions that force judges to use more and longer sentences than are necessary for the public’s protection;

3) The Sentencing Guidelines Council to be given a statutory mandate to produce guidelines that will result in an appropriate balance between the places and resources available for those in custody and the number jailed;

4) The Government to review the prison population and, as an emergency measure, release on licence those prisoners who can be released without endangering the public;

5) The resources of the Probation Service to be increased to restore its morale; make community sentences a realistic alternative to custody for non-violent or sexual offenders and ensure proper supervision of those released;

6) No further legislation to be introduced without properly assessing its impact on the prison population.

…Why can’t they just build more prisons?